8. Lead Us Not Into Temptation

It is well for us to remind ourselves that when Jesus Christ taught His disciples this prayer, He Himself had already been through very severe temptation. He knew temptation was a strenuous trial for anyone to face.

The first Adam gave ground to Satan when tempted.  Because of his defeat, sin entered into our human heritage.  The last Adam (Christ) gave no ground to Satan when tempted.  Because of His complete victory in every encounter, righteousness is made available to those who follow in His footsteps, to those made members of God’s family.

If we are truly born into the family of God, we are bound to face not less but rather more temptation than before.  The reason for this is that the enemy of our souls contests the control of our lives by God’s gracious Spirit.  

It is tremendously important to bear in mind that though the temptation to evil is essentially a spiritual struggle that involves our wills, it is almost always fought in the realm of our personal passions (desires).

The devastating thing about these devilish tactics is that Satan generally chooses to tempt me in that area of my personality that is not yet under the full control of God’s Spirit.  And the testing becomes a clear demonstration as to who really holds the upper hand in any given area of my life.  

In Adam and Eve’s temptation, God called out, “Where are you?” Not that He did not know.  He did! “Do you know where you are, Adam?” is really what God was asking. Do we know where we are when defeated?  Christ prayed, “Lead us not into temptation.” We don’t want to be separated from Him who loves us so much. We don’t want to walk at a distance.  We don’t want to be His discouraged, defeated children.

Lastly, temptation in itself is not necessarily an evil experience.  It is part and parcel of our Father’s plan for producing people of strong character and Christlike qualities. When He created us as freewill beings, He knew we would be confronted with never-ending choices for good or evil.  Our characters as His children are the sum total of the choices we make in a life fraught with temptation. It can help us grow up into godliness under the guidance of His gracious Spirit.

An excerpt from A Layman Looks at the Lord’s Prayer by W. Phillip Keller

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